It’s paramount that the Government steps up its support for small construction firms, as we risk seeing a crash similar to that experienced during the financial crisis of 2008-09 when just under half a million workers left the industry, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) in response to the construction PMI data published today. This data showed that construction activity in March fell at the fastest rate since April 2009.
Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), said:
“This data is shocking but sadly not surprising. In just the first month of this outbreak, construction output has fallen at the fastest rate since the financial crisis a decade ago. It reflects what we have been hearing form our members, 60% of whom have had to stop the majority of their work, to protect their workforce and their clients during the coronavirus outbreak.”
“While Government advice remains to keep sites open, for many firms this is unfeasible and unsafe. Most domestic sites are closed, and even our house building members are struggling to keep going as materials are in short supply. This is having a big financial impact on the sector, particularly on small and medium-sized firms who make up the vast majority of the industry.”
“Cash grants not linked to business rates – almost 90% of small builders don’t operate from an office – are needed now to bring SME construction back from the brink. The FMB stands ready to work with the Government to develop this support stream. The loan scheme isn’t working for our members, and delays to bring other cash support online could prove terminal to hardworking building firms up and down the country.”
Notes to editors
The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) is the largest trade association in the UK construction industry representing thousands of firms in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Established in 1941 to protect the interests of small and medium-sized (SME) construction firms, the FMB is independent and non-profit making, lobbying for members’ interests at both the national and local level.
The FMB is a source of knowledge, professional advice and support for its members, providing a range of modern and relevant business building services to help them succeed. The FMB is committed to raising quality in the construction industry and offers a free Find a Builder service to consumers.